It’s been just over a year since a public health emergency was declared due to an epidemic of opiod-related overdoses in BC.
In that time, there have been an additional 919 deaths province-wide.
Vernon had 13 deaths while Kelowna reported 47. Already this year there have been two deaths in Vernon and 17 In Kelowna.
Interior Health Medical Health Officer Dr Silvina Mema says this isn’t a just health system issue.
” That’s why we are talking to other different groups of stakeholders like municipalities, like RCMP, housing.”
Dr.Mema says it’s a very complex problem that the health system can’t solve.
” What the health system can do is facilitate access to treatment, facilitate access to places where people can use drugs safely.”
She’s also hoping that as more people are trained to use Naloxone, the number of overdoses will slow.
” They are told how to prevent an overdose in the first place and how to recognize an overdose as well because sometimes these overdoses are not recognized and that’s how people die.”
Dr. Mema says still, a lot of progress has been made in making resources available.